Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy, #2), by Mira GrantThis book really suffered from being a second book. All the fun world-building has already happened, and now the characters more or less just dash about madly getting into place and having revelations so that the climactic showdown of the third book can happen.
xpost of this review originally published on goodreads Thu, 19 Jul 2012.
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy, #1), by N.K. JemisinErk, I had a whole review typed up for this, and then my browser ate it. Let's see what I can do with a second chance.
I loved this book both for the voice of the narrator, and for the world building, which was complex enough that it is difficult to summarize the plot of the book without resorting to shorthands which would badly mislead. Let's see what I can do with the narrator, then.
Yeine is a girl, a woman by the laws of her people, who is competent and clever enough to know she is trapped, and utterly out of her depth. She is caught between two sides of a war between gods, between civilizations, and between generations, and the weapons are secrets she does not share, and a mad, enslaved god who may kill her. The stakes are her life, and the future of her people.
If you like stories about someone who brings a knife to a gun-fight, stories about the individual trying not to be buried beneath politics, or vividly rendered settings, I think you will like this book.
xpost of this review originally published on goodreads Wed, 11 Jul 2012.
Maybe This Time, by Jennifer CrusieCrusie's acknowledgements at the beginning thanks the people who "beta read." Has this piece of fanish terminology become mainstream? Is Crusie a fan?
The first page before before the main story starts (I presume this has a name? What is it called?) says "This book is set in 1992. Because" and I kept on getting distracted by trying to figure out what the "because" was. At first I assumed it was because Crusie had written it then, failed to quite complete/sell it, and when she pulled it out in 2009 realized the plot wouldn't work if it was modernized, because everyone now has cellphones.
Then, as I was reading it, I decided that couldn't be it, because there's not a lot of "out of contact" obstacles that couldnât be replaced with "out of service," so perhaps it's just that the musical references would have had to be updated, or else her characters made twenty years older, which perhaps makes the book less mainstream?
What does it mean for a review when you spend half your time talking about the authors' notes? Anyway.
This book, with the exception of the supernatural elements, reminds me of earlier Crusie more than her later stuff (which also supports my 'written in 1992 thesis') but perhaps that is just because this was not written with Bob Myer, as her more recent books have been.
ACTUAL BOOK-RELEVANT PLOT DISCUSSION FOLLOWS.
The romantic pairing in this book are a couple who divorced ten years ago when they discovered that their sexual chemistry was great, but they were bad at communicating with each other. In a less talented writer's hands, this would have resulted in my spending the entire book shrieking "TALK TO EACH OTHER," but with Crusie writing, the working out of their relationship comes not because they finally blurt out the missing piece of information they have been bone-headedly concealing all this time, but because they have since grown up.
They get together because he needs someone to look after a pair of children he inherits, and he hires her not because her ovaries qualify her, but because she is an English teacher and they need a tutor. (Also because he luuuuurves her.) The children are delightful, which I mean not in the saccharine Shirley Temple kind of way, but rather they delight me by being dysfunctional in the way real children are, doing such things as having screaming fits when you try to feed them waffles.
If "supernatural romances" are not your thing, you may enjoy this one anyway, as the ghosts have strong individual personalities, like all Crusie characters, and it is their personalities that motivate them.
This book completely lacks a dog, and I didn't care while I was reading it, so that's certainly a strong endorsement from me.
Two things detracted from my enjoyment of this book: The character of Kelly, evil girlfriend, was so straight-up "ambitious woman is evil bitch" that she was like Miranda Priestly without any style or magnificence.
And at one point, a ghost possesses someone to initiate a sexual encounter, and when someone calls this rape, it is dismissed because the woman being possessed would have initiated the sexual encounter anyway.
I don't usually see much point in arguing which impossibly fictional phenomenon are or aren't rape; it seems a distraction from the actual fact of rape. But in this instance, it super-bothered me how easily the fact that it was at very least "rape-like" was swept aside.
xpost of this review originally published on goodreads Tue, 10 Jul 2012.
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